176 – Connect your change to something known and familiar – Run-DMC and Aerosmith

Posted by  Anecdote International —February 7, 2023
Filed in Anecdotes, Podcast

Similar enough to be listened to, different enough to be heard. Listen to hear how a collaboration between Run-DMC and Aerosmith changed the culture and paved the way for hip-hop music to become mainstream.

Walk this way street art

This week, it’s Shawn’s turn to tell a story! He shares one about idea adoption that he read in Billy Oppenheimer’s newsletter, SIX at 6.

Shawn refers to this video of the Run-DMC and Aerosmith collaboration. And mentions the book, Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, and the Song that Changed American Music Forever.

Shawn and Mark also refer to a story about Dr Everett Rogers and corn farming, which we featured in 109 – New corn idea falls on deaf ears and this blog post.

This episode features a hip-hop-inspired surprise from our sound engineer, Dave Stokes! We hope you enjoy it!

For your story bank

Tags: change, change management, collaboration, familiarity, ideas, innovation adoption

This story starts at 01:10

In the early 1980s, hip-hop wasn’t really considered music for the mainstream. Run-DMC, arguably hip-hop’s first superstars, couldn’t get their music played on the radio.

Their producer, Rick Ruben, was a bit of a genius. He could see people couldn’t hear what they were doing as music, so he had Run-DMC and Aerosmith collaborate on a reproduction of Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.

Walk This Way had been a number ten hit on the billboard ten years earlier. It was a big rock and roll hit, and people were very familiar with it.

Rick thought that by pairing the two groups in one song, people would realise that what they were listening to was music.

In 1986, after the collaboration was released, hip-hop transformed from a small underground community to a popular genre that infiltrated every element of culture.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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